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Pakistan likely to go underwater again

PDMA has issued a flood warning as the monsoon season approaches Pakistan. Preventive measures need to be incorporated to avoid the destruction that the nation has witnessed over the years.

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Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has issued a notification on Monday, July 12th directing the deputy commissioners of various areas of Punjab to take the necessary precautions as a flood warning has been given.

The areas include Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hafizaabad, Mandi Bahaudin, Sargodha, Chiniot, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, and Bahawalpur.

As per the reports of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, River Chenab at Marala, Khanki, and Qadirabad is likely to witness high flood levels as water levels rise. Similarly, associated Nullahs with the river are at risk of flooding.

Heavy rains may also cause landslides and flash flooding in vulnerable areas of Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Lahore has witnessed monsoon rainfall with power outbreaks in various areas. The Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) has been directed by the Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, to remain vigilant during the rain spell and ensure the smooth transaction of traffic throughout the city.

Some citizens reported rain water accumulation on which action has been taken by WASA. MD WASA Zahid Aziz said that the city will be cleared within two hours of the rain stopping.

Read more: Pakistan’s Kalabagh Dam and a series of unfortunate events

Karachi has also been showered with rain on Monday after a hot, dry spell. Karachi Met Director Sardar Sarfaraz said that the rain spell will continue till 17th July with moderate rain ranging from 10 to 22 millimeters.

Because of the rain, some parts of Karachi are experiencing power cuts in order to prevent incidents of electrocution and the situation is constantly being monitored by K-Electric.

Precautions and Preventions 

In order to stay safe from floods and prevent its damage, below are some of the steps that one can take:

  • Evacuate the areas directly under the danger radar of floods. If you reside in an old building or are living in an area where the government has issued a warning, please do not ignore the message and find an alternate residence immediately.
  • Try to stock all necessary items including food, medication, clean drinking water, batteries, oil etc.
  • Stay away from electric poles and wires. Be extra careful while using electronic appliances during rain/thunderstorms.
  • Plan tour to and from hilly areas after thorough consultation with the weather department.

A look back in the Past

Over the last decade, Pakistan has witnessed destruction on a national level time and again due to heavy floods.

In 2003, Sindh was affected when heavy floods hit during the monsoon season. Thatta was the most affected area. Almost 484 people lost their lives and 4,476 villages were destroyed.

In 2007, heavy monsoon rainfall along with melting glaciers resulted in KP, Sindh, and coastal Balochistan being highly affected by floods. 967 people reportedly died and thousands displaced.

Read more: Quick relief measures save lives of locals, tourists stuck in Swat floods

In 2010, the entire country was affected by massive flooding after a record-breaking monsoon spell hit the nation. The unfortunate event took over 2000 people’s lives with 20 million being affected by it.

In September 2011, around 360 people were killed with 5.3 million people displaced as 1.2 million homes were affected in Sindh due to floods.

In September 2012, more than 100 people lost their lives and thousands saw their homes and towns get destroyed as the massive floods swept across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Punjab and Upper Sindh.

In August 2020, Karachi received record breaking rainfall that resulted in extreme urban flooding with many cases of electrocution reported from various areas of the city. The citizens were restricted to their homes as the water accumulation in drains and nullahs drowned the city for days.

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